Texas Tech’s men have been placed on two years’ probation because of more than 400 impermissible text messages sent by golf coaches, the NCAA ruled Jan. 7.
The investigation was part of a wider probe that also involved Texas Tech’s football and softball programs.
Greg Sands, who has coached Tech’s men since the 2001-02 season, took responsibility for not having followed the NCAA ban on texting recruits, which was adopted in 2007.
“We never recruited through texting,” Sands told Golf360. “One hundred percent of our texts were sent to committed prospects for information gathering. It’s my fault I didn’t know all the details of what and when. It still makes it wrong, and I certainly learned a hard lesson.”
Sands said that virtually all of the school’s self-imposed sanctions – among them, restrictions on recruiting and the loss of a small portion of a scholarship – have been completed and that his program is “pretty much back to normal.”
“The thing about it is, if we would have simply used e-mail instead of texting, it would have been OK,” said Sands, whose Red Raiders enter the spring season at No. 21 in the Golf360/Sagarin College Rankings and will be eligible for postseason play. “But those are the rules, and I should have known better.”
Athletic director Gerald Myers, in an interview with the Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock, Texas, acknowledged “mistakes” in his department, “but we have a strong monitoring system in place and coaches who believe in doing the right thing.”
The violations occurred between August 2007 and February 2009, when they were discovered by Texas Tech’s compliance staff, the Avalanche-Journal reported. Sands and a former assistant sent 399 impermissible texts to recruits and 25 to a recruit’s parent, according to the NCAA findings.
The assistant coach at the time was Marty McCauley. He is now coaching at Oklahoma City University (NAIA) as the head women’s coach.
–Ron Balicki contributed